Both the administration and Congress have offered proposals that would alter many of the programs operating under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Both plans would limit access to housing assistance for millions of low-income families.

The administration’s plan, Making Affordable Housing Work Act of 2018, would amend the Housing Act of 1937 to introduce new rent reforms and standards. Among other provisions, the proposal raises the rent for families who receive assistance from 30 percent to 35 percent of their monthly income and raises the minimum rents for households with little or no income by approximately $100 per month. The proposal would allow state and local housing agencies and private owners of subsidized housing to evict or end rental assistance to people who don’t work a specified number of hours.

Shortly after the administration revealed its proposal to reform housing assistance, Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) introduced a discussion draft of his legislation, Promoting Resident Opportunity Through Rent Reform Act of 2018. The bill would allow public housing authorities to raise rents through modified rental structures and lower housing subsidies to HUD-assisted families and would allow public housing authorities to impose work requirements and de facto time limits.

While neither proposal directly raises rent on every HUD-assisted recipient, nearly all recipients will be affected in some way do to the elimination of income deductions that reduce rent on certain households. Both proposals would eliminate medical cost deductions, even for the elderly and disabled. The plans would also eliminate a child care deduction that enables many working parents with rental assistance to afford to work. Ross’ legislation goes a step further, changing the calculation for rental assistance by using gross income instead of adjusted (net) income.

The Alliance will be monitoring legislation that amends housing subsidy requirements.

If you are interested in engaging with the Alliance on this issue, contact Jennifer Ralston Herrera, associate director of public policy at the Alliance.

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